The second most talked about acquisition tool in sports comes via trades. While this sometimes lowers competition for a player, it doesn’t always. Once news gets out that a player may be available other teams most certainly come calling. It is also expensive. Often you have to give up prospects or future draft picks to acquire the high-profile player you want, which is more of a short-term, costly strategy.
This strategy can be compared to using an external agency to “headhunt” talent from other organizations in the recruitment world. It can be very time-consuming and is expensive as some fees can be as high as 25-30% of the first year’s annual salary. There is also the competition component to deal with as well.
After five years on the agency-side of the business, I found that talking with a candidate who says they “aren’t looking” is the catalyst that piques their interest in what’s out there.
I’ve lost track of how often I spoke to a candidate who wasn’t initially looking, turn down our offer because they accepted something elsewhere.
Drafting and Player Development.
When it comes to the long-term strategy of building a contending team, General Managers (GMs) rely on drafts and player development to get the players they need. Suppose their team needs a striker, a point guard, a center, or a quarterback. In that case, there are only so many available in the league, so they turn to drafting and developing players through their minor leagues or affiliate teams. This is a long process and typically is only followed by true ‘die-hard’ fans.
The same can be said about candidate nurturing as a long-term, middle-of-the-funnel strategy. However, while sports teams have scouts who watch players around the world, recruiters must rely on tools like recruitment marketing automation platforms and recruitment CRM’s to build their talent pipeline.
Recruiters can watch who engages with their brand and build long-lasting relationships over time using the right automation, like sending the right message to them based on their needs and where they are in the funnel. With the right recruitment marketing strategy in place, talent acquisition teams can build for the future by nurturing talent and converting them to quality applicants when the time is right. This approach is much more cost-effective, helps close roles faster, and saves recruiters time when it comes to finding suitable candidates.
I know that there will always be the need for “Free Agency” and “Trades” when filling short-term needs in recruitment. There will always be times when someone leaves unexpectedly, or you land a new contract and have to grow your team. However, suppose your Talent Acquisition team has the right nurturing plan in place when the time comes. In that case, your chance of filling that open spot with a higher quality talent grows exponentially.